Is this the future of mopping?

Dyson has unveiled their first wet floor cleaner, which aims to make a mop and bucket a thing of the past.

Dyson has never been short of ambition. Whether it’s robotics, AR-led vacuuming or a failed stab at an electric car, innovation has been the company’s watchword. Their latest gadget is aimed at rethinking an essential piece of cleaning equipment — the humble mop.

Although Dyson have dabbled in mopping before with their Submarine, which was essentially a vacuum with a special wet head, the washG1 is their first dedicated wet cleaner. Launched in early May, it promises to tackle spills, debris and tough stains on hard floors. 

While most wet cleaners use suction, Dyson reportedly found that this approach tended to lead to clogged mechanics, tricky maintenance, and bad smells. So instead of suction, the WashG1 uses a triple-pronged attack of hydration, agitation, and separation.

Basically, it works by using two microfibre rollers in its floor head which rotate in opposite directions to collect debris. While they’re doing that, the WashG1 applies water to the rollers from its one litre capacity clean water tank so it can mop up any spills and stains as it goes.

The debris is separated off and collected in a tray beneath the floor head, while the first water is sucked back up into a dedicated dirty water tank. This prevents the same bucket of dirty water being sloshed out across the whole floor.

“The worst thing [about mops] is that they smear dirt all over the floor,” said Sir James Dyson, the company’s founder and chairman. “They don’t get it up properly. What we wanted to achieve is that you don’t have to vacuum first and only clean water is going back onto the floor.”

Early reviews have been glowing, with Good Housekeeping impressed by the device’s self-cleaning function, its varied controls, its manoeuvrability and how it handled dried-on stains. They did note that one tank of clean water might not be enough to deal with a floor if the heavy-duty “boost” mode was selected. Techradar admired how lightweight it was, although noted that the test model dripped and floors were left damp. admired the new approach to mopping — not relying on steam, vibration or sucking — but wondered if future models could find a way to use warmer water.

Australians will get a chance to make their own minds up soon, as preorders went live on 14 May. The cost might prove a stubborn obstacle for many, with the first release priced at $999 (about half a grand cheaper than their Submarine vacuum). Given that, it might be a while before the simplicity of a good mop and bucket loses its appeal.

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